|Bledsoe, V. K. - TEXAS A&M, COMMERCE, TX|
Submitted to: New Crops National Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) plant maturity at harvest not only influences the total biomass harvested but also the composition and quality of the yield components. Additional information is needed to determine the ideal harvest age to maximize the various kenaf yield components for different plant products. The objective of this research was to determine the effects of kenaf plant age on kenaf yield components. A field study was repeated over a three-year period with kenaf variety 'Everglades 41' at Lane, Oklahoma. The kenaf plots were harvested at four harvest dates, 60 days after planting (DAP), 90 DAP, 120 DAP, and 150 DAP. At each harvest date, a 3-m length of plant row was cut at ground level for analysis. Harvest age (60, 90, 120, and 150 DAP) did not significantly effect plant populations, but did have a significant affect on all other yield parameters. Averaged across years, the total biomass yields increased from m60 DAP (5,705 kg/ha) to 150 DAP (21,005 kg/ha). Although the growth rates did level off or even decrease after 120 DAP, the significant increase in stalk yields after 120 DAP justify the additional 30 days of growth for stalk production. Stalk yields ranged from 3.8 mt/ha for 60 DAP to 19.3 mt/ha for 150 DAP. The percentage of leaf biomass (32%, 60 DAP to 12%, 150 DAP), and leaf digestible protein (18.3%, 60 DAP to 15.5%, 150 DAP) decreased with each harvest date. Leaf yields increased from 2.4 mt/ha (60 DAP) and 4.0 mt/ha (90 DAP) to 4.4 mt/ha at 120 DAP and then decreased to 3.9 mt/ha for the 150 DAP harvest. This research provides valuable information to assist in the management of kenaf to maximize specific yield components for different uses, including stalk production for fiber and plant material for livestock.